The Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps consists of 40 to 50 students, ranging in ages 12 – 18, who gather from Plymouth and surrounding communities year round in preparation for their performance season. Its members are self-supporting and dedicated to preserving the ancient arts of color guard, fifing, and drumming through live performances at parades, historical and patriotic celebrations, concerts, cultural affairs, and other civic events.
Each year the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps performs 40-50 times, from April to October, throughout the State of Michigan and elsewhere. A tour toward the end of summer is a highlight of the performance season. Over the years, tours have taken the Corps to numerous forts, musters and historical sites, as well as Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, Washington D.C., Montreal, Canada, and Boston, MA.
Our music spans the 17th to 20th centuries with an emphasis on music played during the Revolutionary War. Presentations focus on strong personal and group discipline, musical excellence, and marching precision. The Corps’ music features medleys of traditional tunes rearranged into three and four-part harmonies. Drum scores range from traditional settings to a more contemporary rudimental idiom, occasionally borrowing elements from modern drum and bugle corps.
The 10 pound, red and white and blue uniform currently worn by the Corps is a replica of George Washington’s personal Life Guard or foot soldiers (1776-1783). These uniforms have 64 buttons of real pewter, but no zippers. The uniform consists of a buff waistcoat, blue Continental coat with red trim, white shirt, leather neck stock, buff knee breeches, black tricorn hat and white knee socks. The uniforms debuted in 1987, during the year the Corps performed in Philadelphia, marking the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States.
The Corps plays two piece, 10 hole wood fifes, and rope tension snare and bass drums. The McDonagh fifes are in the key of B flat and made of grenadilla wood. The color guard consists of one spontoon (a short pike), one halberd (an ax head mounted on a shaft), two Brown Bess muskets (used bythe armies of Europe and America for nearly 200 years; 1690 to 1830), two British hangars (swords); and six flags. The flags include the Bennington flag (carried by Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys of Vermont during their capture of Fort Ticonderoga from the British in 1775), the Betsy Ross flag (flown by the Pennsylvania navy in 1777, but probably not carried by a land unit), the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag (common symbol used by the colonies during the Revolutionary war), the Commander in Chief’s flag (used by Washington’s private guard indicating his presence), the Grand Union flag (otherwise known as the Continental Colors of 1776), and the State of Michigan flag.
Director – Jim Predhomme
Color Guard Instructor – Jessica Rollinger-Kelly
Drum Instructor – Brad Moore
Fife Instructor – Ed Ungerman
Fife Instructor – Elizabeth Manning